Downwind is the third album by Pierre Moerlen's Gong, although it was the first to be released under that name, the previous two having been released as Gong albums for contractual reasons. It was released in February 1979.
|Studio album by|
|Released||February 9, 1979|
|Genre||Jazz fusion, progressive rock, heavy metal|
|Pierre Moerlen's Gong chronology|
Featuring a mostly instrumental jazz-driven sound, notable for the prominent use of vibraphone, it has little to do with the psychedelic space rock of Daevid Allen's Gong, even though the two bands share a common history.
Downwind marks a slight departure from the formula of the previous de facto Pierre Moerlen's Gong's albums, Gazeuse! and Expresso II. "Aeroplane" and "What You Know" are short-form pop songs with vocals, the only time that Moerlen would attempt this. The lengthy title track displays an emerging progressive rock influence and features lead guitar by Mike Oldfield (for whom Moerlen was also playing at the time), keyboards by Steve Winwood and saxophone by ex-Gong member Didier Malherbe. For the first time, keyboards augment or replace mallet percussion on some tracks.
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